2009 brings big snakes, parking & noise problems and billboards to Sebastian

SEBASTIAN – Billboards touting the City of Sebastian, a big python found slithering just outside the city limits, disputes over parking, noise and a bar’s ownership have marked the last five months in Sebastian.

Looking back at these stories since VeroNews.com launched in mid-July, we can tell which articles and topics were of the most import. And we’d like to share those with you in our half-2009 Year in Review.

New owner unsure if Paradise Tiki Bar and Marina will ever open, posted Nov. 13

A dispute between the old owner and new of the Paradise Tiki Bar and Marina has led to the property being shut down. Its fate is still unclear after the former owner cleared out what he claimed to be his own possessions. The new owner, however, thought the items belong with the bar and marina.

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UPDATE: Sharp eyes in Vero Lake Estates leads to python’s capture, posted Oct. 28

A 9 1/2-foot-long Burmese python is on its way to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thanks to a pair of sharp eyes in Vero Lake Estates.

Mary Rangel, a resident in the community, spotted the snake Tuesday night as it was slithering toward the nearby woods. She called authorities, who sent out Ilka Daniel and Bruce Crocker, of the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County and the Treasure Coast Herpetological Society, respectively.

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WATCH the video


By the River senior facility celebrates official opening, posted Dec. 14

By the River, a new senior living concept, celebrated its official grand opening Monday morning. The community is already home to a handful of low income seniors who say they are enjoying art classes, yoga and other activities that keep them focused.

By the River currently consists of four senior-housing buildings, each of which has a communal kitchen, living room and activity room. The center is located at 11070 Ganga Way, off Roseland Road, in Sebastian nestled into conservation land, bringing residents closer to nature.

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Sebastian City Council approves $20,000 for “Feather Wars” film, posted Aug. 14

The Sebastian City Council voted four to one to approve $20,000 in funding for the documentary film “Feather Wars” produced by Tom Lowe of Eagle Productions in Orlando. The vote came during the Aug. 12 evening meeting of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Councilman Eugene Wolff cast the only dissenting vote. Although Wolff was in favor of the film project, he expressed an objection to the amount of money involved with roads and signs in the community in need of attention.

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Billboards to draw visitors sparks controversy

Over the summer, the City of Sebastian debated spending funds from its Community Redevelopment Agency budget to put up billboards along Interstate 95 to promote tourism.

The decision to put up the billboards draw criticism from political gadflies who argued that the city should figure out what it can offer tourists before the tourists arrive.

It also had the makings for a battle between Sebastian and Fellsmere because one of the billboards was to be located on Fellsmere land along I-95.

READ the full story: Sebastian billboards are up promoting city, posted Aug. 10


Paid parking during Fourth of July prompts city to work out own parking deal

After a public outcry over having to pay $5 to park in the former Wal-Mart parking lot for the Fourth of July festivities, the Sebastian City Council approved a parking agreement with the property owner – for free parking.

The issue came up after a city resident worked out a deal with a representative from the property owner to offer paid parking during the festival and the fireworks show later that night.

Residents had grown accustomed to not having to pay to park in the lot and were upset by the change and little notice.

READ the full story: Sebastian council approves event parking agreement, posted Aug. 27


Complaints regarding noise from businesses prompts new residential noise rules

Sebastian residents who complained to city officials about noise coming from commercial properties got changes to the noise ordinance – only the changes didn’t address their concerns.

Instead, the Sebastian City Council approved a new set of rules for residential noise, including when lawn mowers, outdoor entertainment and other noisy endeavors can happen.


READ the full story: Businesses exempt from new Sebastian noise ordinance, posted Aug. 27

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